As the long Texas summer approaches, homeowners are faced with high temperatures and a generally prolonged period with little precipitation. July, August, and September are among the hottest months in Texas, and preserving your lawn and landscaping through these months can be difficult. Still, with the right strategies and some preparation, you’ll be able to enjoy your outdoor oasis year-round.
Watering your lawn may be challenging as consumption and demand increase during the summertime; this can be solved by developing a more efficient watering schedule and checking local guidelines and restrictions. Warm-season turfgrass can become dormant it undergoes a prolonged period of dry or drought-like conditions. If this occurs, the turf will turn golden-brown and stop growing, though in most cases, it will return when water becomes readily available in late summer or early fall. The ability for the turf to return does require deep, healthy roots that have developed during the previous months. Another important consideration is to water as early in the morning as possible to allow the water to infiltrate the deep roots and not evaporate off of the surface of the blades. It’s also important to make sure you are applying water evenly. In-ground irrigation systems can be an excellent option for homeowners who want to ensure even, controlled watering. One of the best ways to efficiently water your lawn is to water deeply and infrequently to get a depth of approximately 6”.
At the peak of the summer, mowing needs to be performed less frequently to prevent further stress on your lawn. A rule of thumb is that lawns should be maintained at 3” during the summertime. By removing weeds in the springtime, you can prevent unwanted growth and reduce the need to mow during the summer. Many homeowners choose to fertilize in the spring to get ahead of the long dry Texas summer, and this is a great solution for maintaining a healthy lawn year-round. It should be noted that if you do choose to fertilize your lawn, you should reduce or suspend the number of applications when there is less water to support growth. Take a soil test to your local landscaper to identify phosphorous and potassium rates to develop a proper fertilizing schedule.
Many homeowners utilize native plants to maintain outdoor spaces year-round. Because they are naturally drought resistant and stress-tolerant, they require less maintenance and water with the added benefit of contributing to the local ecosystem as food sources for pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. They can also protect soil quality with deeper root systems and natural immunity to regional pests and diseases.
No two lawns are identical, and sometimes it’s best to bring in a professional landscaping service to keep your lawn looking its best, but with some planning and strategy, you can keep your lawn green year-round. Look into your local guidelines for advised watering schedules and restrictions.